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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prabin Khaling to be felicitated by Kalimpong Press Club ... Tripartite talks on 11 November, attack on GNLF supporters ... World record great story wall project ...ONGC lifted Gold Cup .. ..BJP demands mobile pre recorded voice messages in Nepali

KalimNews, kalimpongonlinews,,Kalimpong, 2 November: Kalimpong Press Club has decided to felicitate a young and budding journalist for his valiant effort and contribution in the field of Journalism. On the occasion of its foundation day it will felicitate a journalist preferably a non local every year starting from 2010.
The selection committee formed for the purpose has selected Prabin Khaling a member of Press Club of Sikkim and a a staff photo journalist of The Telegraph and correspondents of several Nepali and Hindi daily News Paper, to receive the felicitation for the year 2010.
Khaling will be felicitated on 20th November 2010 in the Ramkrishna Ranga Manch, Kalimpong during the Club's 12th foundation day cum Kaleybung Ratna Puraskar ceremony.
The objective of initiating Kaleybung Ratna Puraskar is to encourage and honour distinguished persons of Kalimpong Sub Division who have contributed in any of the fields like  Adventure (including rescue), Agriculture(all allied fields), Sports & Athletics, Business, Education, Environment,   Literature,  Journalism (Print and Electronic), Politics (Creative Politics), Profession (all), Social Service, Health Service, Medical Science and Research / Studies etc. The award includes a memento , angavastra (shawl) and a citation.
It has an objective to encourage the recipient who is under 60 years and is a less familiar face and not priviledged with awards or felicitated elsewhere and a present or past resident of Kalimpong. In the year 2008 three prominent figures Mr. Manoj Dahal, Mount Everest Climber, Mr. Bharat Chhetri, National Hockey player and Dr. Mikthuk S. Foning, an eminent Horticulturist were honoured with 1st Kaleybung  Ratna Puraskar.Mr. Sukh bahadur Tamang, a rafting rescuer of Triveni, Teesta was also felicitated for his outstanding rescue operations of the dead and living in disasters, flood and accidents.
Mr. Lalit Golay a renowned film and video actor, comedian, story writer, lyricist and director  was honoured with 2nd Kaleybung Ratna Puraskar for his contribution in the field of Film and Video in the year 2009. And this year Sudesh Pradhan a policeman by profession but a true social worker by heart who helped and is helping people needing medical assistance in Kolkata will be honoured with 3rd Kaleybung Ratna Puraskar.
During the ceremony the club's news blog Kalimpong News  ( 
will be upgraded to website
Prof. Dr.M.P.Lama Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University will be the chief guest of the programme in which an inter college extempore contest will be organised in Nepali and English.
Tripartite talks on 11 November, attack on GNLF supporters
KalimNews: A GJMM information stated that the next round of political level tripartite talks would be held on 11 November in New Delhi. GJMM delegates after meeting the Home minister also met Ajay Maken Home state Minister and made him aware of the party's revised stand .
Meanwhile some miscreants attacked and ransacked house of Munna Pradhan in Kumai in the midnight. Pradhan  along with Taramani Chhetri, Hem kumar Rai and Manup Baraik had visited Subhas Ghising in Jalpaiguri, GJMM alleged and had threatened to socially boycott them. During a meeting organised by the party it declared that serious would be taken against those opposing Interim Setup. An FIR is lodged in Jaldhaka Thana against Bikash Dahal and others for  the attack and damages caused.
In a similar incident Mohan Chhetri and Deven Sharma of Gairigaon Jadhaka were also questioned by local GJMM when they were found to be present in the residence of Subhas Ghising in Jalpaiguri. Their photographs were printed in some dailies. But on interrogation they replied that they were there by accident and they are still in the GJMM and will remain so.
First winter snow fall
TT:The upper reaches of Sikkim in Nathu-la at 14,400ft, the Sherathang trade mart and Chhangu village at 12,500ft received the season’s first snowfall in the state on Tuesday. Snow of two-three inch thickness covered the areas in East Sikkim which has considerable tourists at this time of the year. In 2009, Sikkim received its first snowfall in December. 
The snowfall began around midnight and lasted till 9am on Tuesday, said M. Das, the resident meteorologist of the Gangtok met department. Nathu-la and its surroundings receive snowfall from November to February each winter. 
Das said the minimum temperature in Gangtok on Monday was 11 degrees Celsius and the maximum, 15.6 degrees Celsius. Pictures by Prabin Khaling
Set up meeting
SNS, SILIGURI/ KURSEONG, 2 NOV: The GJMM leaders, including the party president, Mr Bimal Gurung and the general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri today met the Union minister of state for home affairs, Mr Ajay Maken, and discussed the contentious issues related to the interim council formation. 
“Today's talks are a precursor to the next round of political level talks which are likely to be held next month,” said Mr Giri.  
After meeting the Union home minister, Mr P Chidambaram and others yesterday, the GJMM leaders sounded certain about the formation of the Interim Council, claiming that Mr Chidambaram was convinced of the efficacy of the party's point of view regarding the five principal issues involved in the process of the Interim Authority formation. Meanwhile, at a time when the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha is busy finalising the nitty gritty regarding the proposed interim authority ahead of the crucial state Assembly elections, the Congress has thrown weight behind the longstanding demand for the Union Territory status for the restive Darjeeling hills. 
The decision of the hill Congress to revive the demand is likely to generate heat in the state, as the Darjeeling issue is likely to become an emotive issue for the coming Assembly elections.  
It was learnt from the party leaders based in the Hills that the poor response from the Hill youth regarding the recent Youth Congress membership drive has compelled them to change tacks.

Gorkhaland solution in sight, but GJM heads for a split
Sumanta Ray Chadhury, DNA, Mumbai, 3 November: At a time when the impasse over Darjeeling Hills in West Bengal is nearing an end, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the principal political force spearheading the separate Gorkhaland movement, appears heading for a split.
Intense infighting is going on in GJM over the long-standing demand for inclusion of Terai and Dooars plains in Gorkhaland or the interim Darjeeling-Gorkha Hill Council.
In recent negotiations with the Union and West Bengal governments on the council, top GJM leaders, including president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri, agreed to keep Terai and Dooars out.
However on Tuesday, Morcha’s student, youth and women’s wings staged protests decrying “attempts to exclude Terai and Dooars from the council ambit”.
They contended that by agreeing to keep the plains out, GJM was going back on its original demand for a separate Gorkhaland, including Terai and Dooars.
“When the question of the interim council first arose, the GJM leadership emphasised on Terai and Dooars. However, it later started negotiations without including the plains. We cannot agree,” a spokesman for GJM student wing Vidyarthi Morcha said.
He said they would discuss the issue with GJM leadersand explain that excluding the plains would send a wrong signal to the people of Darjeeling.
“As it is, agreeing on an interim council instead of a separate state is a major dilution of the movement. We are not ready for another compromise,” the spokesman said.
All India Gorkha League, whose leader Madan Tamang was assassinated allegedly by Morcha members is ready to take advantage of the rift.

World record wall banner

KalimNews, Gangtok, 2 November:The Great Story-Wall is a 100metre long banner on digital art, the design of which is based on myths, legends and indigenous stories of Eastern Himalayas. The feat is also setting a World Record( Limca Book of Records 2010) on the Tuesday at Paljor Namgyal Girls High School in Gangtok.
The Great Story Wall Project, however, isn’t only about creating a world record feat. It extends to a 6-month travel based storytelling tour (along with the banner) across various cities of the country beginning from Bangalore, the base of Acoustic Traditional ,continuing its journey to Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkatta, Delhi,Darjeeling,Shillong, Imphal, Itanagar that will also bring the support and involvement of various folklore-based organizations(NGO”s) ,government agencies and youth organizations of the city/state.said Salil Mukhia  designer and founder of Bangalore based NGO Acoustic Traditional.
The display of the 100 metre long banner on digital art. The design/art is based on the myths, legends and stories shared by various storytellers during the Indigenous storytellers’ Fest conducted in Gangtok this year which was the first meeting of indigenous storytellers ever held in South Asia. The stories that will comprise the backdrop of the present artwork are mainly from ethnic groups of  Sikkim and Eastern Himalayas like the Lepchas, Limboos, Bhutias,Gurungs, Rai , Apatani, Mayeti and other groups like  Paniyars from Nilgiris and Potwas from West Bengal with whom Acoustic Traditional had worked with in the past, he said.
The 100 metre banner is  setting a World Record for being the longest  banner of its kind and is declared a record by  the Limca book of records  today at the Palzor Namgyal School in Gangtok.The banner will be displayed for a week and would reach out to school /college students and tourists  and the people of Gangtok over the week informed. 
The Great Story-Wall Project primarily aims to build interest and awareness in folklore among the youth and also engage the media and all stakeholders  towards the promotion of  our tradition of oral storytelling  and preservation of our disappearing folklores and indigenous knowledge.The Great Story-Wall is a befitting tribute to all the storytellers, to whom we owe so much, yet seldom acknowledged.
Acoustic Traditional is an NGO that  works to promote indigenous stories and their ethnic storytellers,to creatively communicate the role of stories in preserving the ethnic identities and traditional wisdom and to interest more storytellers through the Indigenous Storytellers Fest organized annually.
We invite you to attend the event of the display of the banner and help to reach out to youth and various stakeholders for promoting our tradition of oral storytelling.
ONGC lifted Gold Cup
KalimNews, Gangtok, Nov 2: I-League club ONGC Mumbai lifted the 32nd All India Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament with a convincing 3-1 victory over Bengal Mumbai FC in the finals played today here at Paljor Stadium.
The Bengal Mumbai FC had taken a surprise lead in the 15th minute through a spot kick when its forward Mintu Saha was clipped by ONGC defender Ricky Jay in the penalty box. Nigerian striker Afam Denis slammed home the penalty.
The ONGC team restored parity within one minute in a similar fashion. Midfielder F Lalmaun Puia was brought down in the penalty box by a Bengal Mumbai defender and referee Tusher Khanti Guha did not hesitate to award a penalty kick.
ONGC’s Nigerian striker ND Opara converted the spot kick making it 1-1. The ONGC team took the lead in the 35th minute due to a neat pair of move between Opara and his fellow Nigerian striker B Babatunde.
Babatunde crossed the ball from the right flank which Opara directed to the path of an onrushing Sandeep Sangha who struck an unstoppable left footed drive into the right corner of the Bengal Mumbai FC net.
Opara scored his second goal in the 55th minute when he tapped in a low cross from the right flank by F Lalmuan Puia making it 3-1 in favour of the ONGC Mumbai. He missed out his second hattrick in the tournament when he could not find the net from close range in the dying minutes of the game.
Despite conceding a lead through a penalty, the ONGC players never looked unsettled and were never under much pressure from the opponents. It had the confidence of a winner and ultimately lifted the Governor’s Gold Cup which was presented by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
The final was also special in the context of Sikkim football. It was for the first time in the 32 years of Governor’s Gold Cup that two Sikkimese players, Robin Gurung for ONGC and Ong Tshering Lepcha for Bengal Mumbai FC were playing in a Governor’s Gold Cup final. No Sikkimese player had ever played in a Governor’s Gold Cup final in the past 31 years.
4 killed in mishap
TT, Nov. 2: Four persons, including two babies, were killed and 15 were injured when a private bus they were travelling in fell on its side in Fulbari this evening.
The driver of the bus coming from Cooch Behar’s Mathabhanga lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a bend on NH31D and fell on a vacant land at Jatiakali, about 20km from Siliguri, at 6pm.
The dead passengers have been identified as Swapna Jana, 25, and her daughter Jaya, 2, and Lucky Bibi, 24 and her son Najir Mian, 2.
“There were more than 50 passengers in the bus and the driver was going at a high speed. First, it tried to overtake a truck and then negotiate a bend,” said Shankar Sarkar, a resident of Sitai who suffered minor injuries.
“We have admitted the injured passengers to hospital and seized the vehicle. The driver and his helper have fled,” an officer of NJP police outpost said.
BJP demands mobile pre recoded voice messages in Nepali
KalimNews, Gangtok, Nov 2: State BJP unit today posted a memorandum to the Ministry of Telecommunication, New Delhi requesting the Centre to pass directives to all mobile companies to include Nepali language in their services like pre-recorded voice messages or promotional SMS.
The State BJP general secretary, Padam Sharma in his memorandum, highlighted to the Central authorities that the Nepali language has been included in the Eight Schedule of the Indian Constitution in 1992. It is also a fact that in spite of the Constitutional recognition of Nepali language, it could not gain momentum for development to the extent that it could not find place in telecommunication customer care services, he said.
“There is no communication through SMS in Nepali language in mobile services because the companies engaged in mobile business have not included the language in their list of communication through SMS”, said Sharma in his memorandum to the Ministry. He has requested for urgent passing of directives to the companies from the Ministry to include Nepali language in the mobile services.
Later speaking to media, the State BJP general secretary said that the customer care services and SMS facilities in all the mobile companies have provisions for all the languages expect Nepali. These companies should include Nepali language in their services within a month or the BJP will launch a protest movement, he said.
“We will request all the Nepali speaking people to switch off their mobiles for three days if our demand is not met by the companies. We will also launch other protests”, warned Sharma. He also appealed the organizations associated with Nepali language development to sent similar memorandums so that a collective demand is registered with the Centre and the mobile companies.
CID takes over smut clip probe
TT, Nov. 2:
 The CID today took over the MMS case involving two students of a polytechnic college in Siliguri.
The cyber cell of the CID will help detect the origin of the MMS clip, allegedly clicked by Anindya Garai while being intimate with his girlfriend which he later circulated among friends, prompting her suicide.
“We have just received the orders. Our officers will go to Siliguri and take up the case. The next course of investigation will be decided later,” inspector-general, CID, P. Neerajnayan, told The Telegraph.
On October 18, the victim, a first year student of Siliguri Government Polytechnic, had lodged a complaint with the Siliguri police station, alleging that her boy friend Anindya, a third year student of the same college, had taken intimate and objectionable videos of them.
A case was registered under the IT act.
Ten days later, the girl committed suicide at her Pradhannagar residence. A case for abetment to suicide was registered with the Pradhannagar police station against Garai, who was arrested from Burdwan on Saturday.
D. P. Singh, the superintendent of police of Darjeeling, said: “We have been in touch with the CID from the beginning. Since they have a cyber crime cell, it would help if they take over the case.”
Preliminary investigation carried out by the district police reveals that the MMS clip was posted on a pornographic website for money. However, this is yet to be verified by the cyber-cell of the CID, the district police said.
“Anindya claimed that he had circulated the MMS clip among his friends in his college via Bluetooth. One of them must have posted the video on the Internet, Anindya has claimed,” a senior officer said.
Nepali migrant workers dying due to overwork in Malaysia
Kathmandu: The number of Nepali migrant workers dying due to overwork in Malaysia has grown significantly in recent times.
Overworking for more money is attributed to the increased number of deaths of the workers in Malaysia, where the concentration of Nepali labourers is highest compared to other labour destinations.
The death occurrences during the first six months of 2010 are higher than that of the corresponding period of last year.
Till the month of June this year, 55 Nepali workers lost their lives due to overwork while the same number was 51 in the corresponding period of 2009.
Previously, industrial accidents and chronic ailments used to be the prime causes behind the death of Nepali workers in Malaysia.
However, in the recent period, the problem of excessive work has resulted in the death of such labourers.
The labourers in Malaysia are found to have worked for an excruciating period - from 16 to 18 hours a day- without taking weekly or any other form of leave.
Generally, eight hours is the standard working time length in Malaysia. However, the workers can work up to any hours as per their wishes.
Since the workers get double salary for working in public holidays, more Nepali workers are tempted to make extra bucks without taking necessary physical
Girls’ rock band rises in Sikkim - Phynyx flies past boys
Members of the Phynyx perform at Namchi Public School on Saturday; (below) the girls with the certificates and the trophy they received at the contest on Monday. Pictures by Prabin Khaling
TT, Gangtok, Nov. 2: Meet the Phynyx, the first ever all-girl rock band in Sikkim which blew away boys from eight schools in a contest at Namchi Public School on Saturday.All five members of Phynyx are from Paljor Namgyal Girls’ 
Senior Secondary School in Gangtok. They edged over other rock teams in the Battle of Bands at the South Sikkim school with their cover of Pretty Womanby Roy Orbison, Nepali song Sakdina and Zombie of The Cranberries.
The girls are Junu Pudi Kunchudyangmu (Class XI), the lead vocalist, Sangay Doma Bhutia (Class XII) on guitar and vocals, Annies Pamo Lepcha (Class X) on bass guitar and vocals, Rinzi Lhamu (Class XI) on percussion and vocals and Dechen Sherpa (Class IX) on drums.
Having tasted success in their debut contest, the Phynyx have been invited to perform the opening act for the top band here, Girish N. The Chronicles, during a show proposed to be held at the end of this month at Sikkim Government College, Tadong.
“We want to participate in bigger events and compete with other bands. The ultimate aim is to reach the top and win bigger competitions and also win people’s hearts with our music. And we got a lot of inspiration from our teachers,” said a Phynyx member.
The girls are also spending most of their time jamming, another must for an upcoming rock outfit.
“We set up the band on September 15 as we all shared the mutual interest in music and started practising in the school after study hours under the guidance of our teachers. We had no formal training and learnt most of the things on our own,” said Junu.
And what about the final asset of a rock band, the stage showmanship?
“The girls showed confidence and displayed great showmanship during the contest,” said a teacher who assisted the Phynyx.
“We were nervous during the practice but when we reached the stage, we became confident and gave our best,” said Annies.
“Initially, it seemed that the crowd was not expecting anything from us. We proved them wrong. We are on a high. It was great to be on the top,” said Lhamu.
Teachers Yabesh Benjamin, Sion Simick, Norbu Sherpa and Subash Shankar, ably mentored the students to become the first all-girl rock band of Sikkim and to win the competition at Namchi. The band is managed by Benjamin.
Sankar, himself a musician, said he would be producing a video album of an untitled English song written by the band during the winter vacation.
“These girls were raw and it was their hard work that brought them success. They were dedicated and willing to learn from us,” he said.
The teacher also said it was difficult for an all-girl rock band to get time for practice.
“Boys get more freedom and they can practise anywhere. But girls don’t have that luxury. They used to practise in the school for almost two hours daily. Everyone, including the school principal, supported them for the Namchi event,” he said.
The band members also acknowledged the support given by their parents. “Our parents were super supportive,” said one of them.
The girls said they wanted to stay together and continue with the band even after the completion of their study at PNG School.
Mother hunts for baby buyers - Poverty card & meal scheme of little help
TT, Malda, Nov. 2: A woman with a BPL card looking for means to treat her ailing husband and feed her family has been running from door to door trying to sell two of her five children, a second of its kind incident in four months in one of the poorest blocks of Malda.
Samaira Bibi, who had once thought of killing herself, said she had no qualms about putting her children up for sale. “I have thought about it many times, this is the only way out. They, too, will be happy, and I will be able to feed the other children. I want to sell my youngest ones, a five-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. I have been looking for families willing to shell out Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 each,” she said.
Samaira Bibi’s plight has raised doubts if the Centre’s food security law for the “really poor” will actually benefit them, specially where there is an absence of willingness among the implementing agency or authority. For, both Samaira and her husband have BPL cards — also a must for the central scheme — but are not covered under any of the current poverty alleviation projects. One such scheme is Sahai (State Action against Hunger and Inequality) under which the poor are fed meals. In Malda district Rs 1.3 crore meant for Sahai is lying unutilised.
The 42-year-old Samaira stays with husband Ajijul Haque and her five children aged between 13 and two years in a ramshackle hut in Old Malda’s Mahisbathani village, 15km from here. Mother-in-law Phulsun Bewa also stays with them. Ajijul, 47, who used work as a farm labourer had developed an ear infection two years ago and is unable to toil any longer. “Now he is mentally unstable and is not aware of what goes around him,” said Samaira. Initially, neighbours had helped. “But they too are poor. I thought of killing myself. Now I have decided that I will sell my children.”
Asked about the BPL cards, Samaira shot back: “I have a voter ID card too. My eldest daughter is 13 years old. None of my children are old enough to earn a living and I cannot go looking for work leaving the children, my husband and mother-in-law behind.”
The Congress gram panchayat pradhan of the Mahisbathani gram panchayat, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, said he had written to the block development officer of Old Malda. “But the BDO has been transferred recently and unless someone assumes charge, nothing can be done,” he said. Almost all poverty-stricken villages are concentrated in Old Malda. In July this year, another resident of this block, Myno Baske, was searching for buyers for her children. She did not have a BPL card.
Malda district magistrate Pramal Kumar Samanta said he had asked the additional district magistrate to visit Samaira’s family and submit a report. “Selling children is a crime and we will not tolerate that. I have also come to know that Rs 1.3 crore meant for Sahai is lying unused while families are struggling to get even one meal a day,” Samanta said.
The district magistrate has asked the project officer, under the district rural development cell, to explain why the funds are unutilised.
Jumbo warning with bells
TT, Siliguri, Nov. 2: A wildlife enthusiast has been working on an early warning system (EWS) to check man-elephant conflict in a Terai village.
Nidhi Singh identified Toribari village, part of an elephant corridor 8km from here, for the project that she has been working since September. She had helped wildlife filmmakers, the Bedi Brothers of Delhi while they were making Cherub of the Mist, one of the first documentaries on red pandas of Darjeeling. The film was released in 2006.
“After settling down in Siliguri, I started visiting the areas where man-elephant conflict was rampant. Last year, I submitted preliminary reports for the EWS project to the Wildlife Trust of India, a Delhi-based non-profit organisation that works for wildlife conservation in the country. The project was sanctioned for three years and I have been working on it since September-end,” Nidhi said.
According to Nidhi, the mechanism used for EWS is cheap and simple involving fish-net strings, trigger-switches, posts and bells. “I have surrounded 5km of the village with strings and installed bells and trigger-switches with the help of posts. When elephants, lured by the smell of paddy, raid the village and touch the string, the alarm bell on a watchtower goes off and alerts the villagers who then can drive away the herd.
The second phase of the project involves growing hedges of chilli and lime bush around the village.

“I am planting Naga chilli plants along the periphery of the village, whose pungent smell disperses the scent of the paddy. Mixing the chilli with dry cow-dung or rice husk and burning it during the animals’ raid can drive away the herd as smoke and pungent smell repel them. These simple techniques will be taught to the villagers,” Nidhi said.
The environmentalist has also asked the people to grow lime as hedges on the boundary of their paddy fields. “The thorns in the hedges can act as deterrents to the elephants,” Nidhi said.

Tapas Das, the divisional forest officer of wildlife I under which the village falls, said his department was assisting Nidhi in the project. “Such EWS techniques help villagers to be alert to tackle elephant raids.”
The Ugly Face of Media 
By Prabhat Sharan, The Verdict Weekly,01 November, 2010:Thus, it was not surprising that the media world a couple of years back desperately sought help from the state to bail it out from the economic bankruptcy. The reason for seeking bailout was that jobs had to be saved; and the first casualty in the media world-like in any corporate-governed sector-were the journalists at the lower echelons. The argument presented by the managements for justifying retrenchment is a case in point of a warped and erroneous logic…They say in plague rats die first and ironically the germs of plague are spread by none other than rodents themselves. In an economically sick society, if not the first, the journos have managed to grab the second position in the list of fatalities, and ironically like the rodents they were also responsible for spreading the germ of conservative exploitative economic structural adjustment which they glorified by calling it, “neo-liberal economy.”Within a span of two years, the corporate establishment media is back with the rat poison hacking the hacks as well as the handful honest committed journalists who bravely carry the cross of integrity. The vanguard for this impending hacking like in earlier ‘Operation Raticide,’ is none other than a so-called national commercial newspaper which except for providing business news carries propagandistic fabricated material emanating from ‘private treatises,’ under the veneer of ‘news.
Hacks, like the rats are once more desperately seeking a rat hole, burrow and shelter from the epidemic of economic plague and so-called massive retrenchment. Till some time back, the same journos went around the town tom tomming about the grandiose success of the late 19th century economic system. Courtesy, they (read journos) were getting ginger bread spread with jam even if it was the same as the one made in some rural area, this species like the sick rodent family went to the town casting the germ of superfluous consumerism and promoting it as the need of every human being even if it meant shackling them and sucking out their very life and joy. They espoused the age old maxim-greed is good mentality.
Like the mythical scientist Dr Frankenstein who created the monster only to be killed, by it, the journos are now dying by the very own creation. A case in point is the resignation of the much-hyped Outlook Money’s editor, just a year ago. In her post-resignation letter to her colleagues from the magazine, the editor made a startling admission that the reason behind her quitting the job lay in the management’s pressure on her to blow-up insurance companies profile in the periodical.
Not an uncommon, occurrence in the world of corporate media where deals are fixed and so are the reports and articles. In fact the flurry of newspapers, periodicals and television news channels in the last one and a half decade took everybody by surprise.
More surprising was that journalism which hitherto had always attracted half-starved socially committed person on the one the end of spectrum and those who wanted to go up the political-industrial power broking lobby on the other end suddenly became the top sought after jobs amongst youngsters.
The reason was of course the sudden emergence of media from the façade of being mission oriented to brainwashing propaganda machine for the corporate world which wanted to fashion the thinking and obliterate the logical and emotive aspect of the masses in India.
With a token of anti-establishment news reports mainly criticising the public sectors and other state machinery, an impression was created that the corporate governance was the sole solution to the people’s ills. The sycophancy towards MNCs and TNCs ideology reached a crescendo during the Indo-US nuke deal when the Indian corporate media crawled on its stomach to get it cleared hiding all the insidious facts from the masses. The media blatantly forgot its role of being a mirror to the reality.
The half-starved journo whose anger against the exploitative system roiled along with the rumbling in his or her stomach suddenly found that there was too much food on the plate. Industrialists, multi-nationals executives were being eulogised with superlatives which they certainly did not deserve. In fact worse for the Indian journalism scene was not just the anointing those who toed the line of conservative economic structural adjustment with fancy designations like ‘Quality Editor,’ but relegating the critics of the regressive exploitative economic system to queues of unemployable and rope in the most inexperienced just-out-of-college students for journalism with a strap line - “experience not required.” The result the corporate world got what it wanted: A dumbing down of journalism and a facade of frivolous reporting.
The masses were duly hypnotised by the glitz and glamour in the media which pontificated with religious fervour the maxim that greed and consumption is the way to social ladder and happiness. Usurping hinterlands, erecting vertical slums, possessing senseless, mindless gadgets coupled with the power of spending were being deliberately epitomized as the quotient for one’s success.
Though the Outlook Money editor took quite a substantial time to realise the covert media machinations, which is quite surprising, given the fact that the periodical was devoted to woo the masses into the speculative trading world by imparting them kindergarten lessons in the world of stock market, the fact is that resignation also has another hidden facet.
The other fact which is more gruesome is that even as the bubble of non-existent capital keeps exploding at an alarming regularity, in the same space and time warp, the media bubble also fizzles out like the air from a soda water bottle leaving the once effervescent water devoid of all air.
The result; the hoarding painters who lustily paint the minds of the masses with the greatness of economic system, again and again find themselves totally redundant and useless for the class which controls the reins of the monies.
The new fangled term, nothing but an old wine in a new bottle-financial inclusion, which if analysed was to extract money from small and minor land holders in the rural India for playing in the speculative money market, has also lost its fizz.
The corporate governance which the media used to go around shining it into the eyes of the masses, are all biting dust. Where does, that leaves the media? Nowhere. The so-called top-notch journalists and media management which talked about the corporatising of journalism, are now adrift in a whirlpool created by their own erroneous logic, greed, servility and hypocrisy.
Thus, it was not surprising that the media world a couple of years back desperately sought help from the state to bail it out from the economic bankruptcy. The reason for seeking bailout was that jobs had to be saved; and the first casualty in the media world- like in any corporate-governed sector-were the journalists at the lower echelons.
The argument presented by the managements for justifying retrenchment is a case in point of a warped and erroneous logic. Even as the management of various newspapers went with a begging bowl with pockets overflowing with profits, launches of newer and newer magazines never come to a stop nor does the pressure on their once blue-eyed drum-beaters to leave the fold. The media world is facing the same sting which other sectors are facing; the only thing in the world of journalism is that the paths taken to retrench are different.
And most of the times it glosses the underbelly of the dark reality of the economic structures which it loudly proclaims to the world. In fact during the ‘feel-good’ maxim spouted for the dying and miserable masses, the relationship between the corporate world and corporate media had become something like that of donkeys who in the weddings of the camels, become songsters and sing how handsome the groom is and are answered by the camels with praise for the beauty of their voices and words.Prabhat Sharan
is a Senior Journalist with interest in social, working class, wild-life conservation, media, philosophical and literary studies. He can be contacted at:

Bimal Gurung resembles Subash Ghising, claims CPRM

Pravin Rai,, Gangtok, October 31: “We will not support Interim Set-up in hills, as it does not define the true identity of Gorkhas”, said the general secretary, Communist Party Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) RB Rai, who was on a day visit in the state. Gorkhaland is our ultimate demand and fundamental right of Gorkhas; it is the stand through which the ‘entire’ Gorkha community will get their identity, added Rai. “Interim Set-up has no shape as its time period is uncertain and technically, it is non-existence”, he denounced the Set-up. In fact, GJM, itself don’t understand the meaning of Interim Set-up, he added. Earlier, CPRM has been supporting the principle of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) but with the introduction of interim set-up and certain other issues, the CPRM is now against the principles of GJM, it was informed. He claimed that GJM has been a dictatorial, domineering and despotic factor in the hill arena and this is only due to the lack of opposition parties. “What is the necessity of Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) when the authoritative GJM follows the Gandhian principle?”, he posed. GJM has been accused as the party, whish is beyond the brutal murder of Madan Tamang, AIGL chief and has not right to partake in Tripartite Talk with the state (West Bengal) and the central government, he expressed. “….but the Center and the State is still untouched with the fact, which suggests whiff of conspiracy of all including GJM”, he underlined. He also totally condemns the murder of Madan Tamang, which could have not been possible without the support of the Bengal government, as Tamang was slained during the daylight. The CPRM general secretary also claimed the GJM chief Bimal Gurung as the replica of GNLF chief Subash Ghising, who had baffled the Gorkha people for a long time. “ Gurung, at present is fighting tooth and nail for interim set-up, which is not a bonafide right of Gorkhas. He is in the direct influence of Bengal government and the party under him has become a ‘non-functional’ party in the hills”, he suggested. Moreover, he also stated that the GJM is in favour of nomination of leaders rather than election, which directly and literally points out that the party does not want ‘democratic air’ in hill. Wrapping up his anti-GJM tones, he overtones for the merger pf Sikkim and Darjeeling, through which the identity for Gorkhas would be possible and also appealed the Sikkim government to take its initiative for the alliance.

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